From Garden to Table: Cooking with Lavender

As if being beautiful, fragrant and easy to grow weren’t enough, lavender also delivers fresh, vibrant flavor. Unlock new culinary possibilities by cooking with lavender in your kitchen.

| June 2012

  • Soak or steep lavender buds in hot water, then remove the buds; the water or liquid will retain a hint of the flavor. Honey, applesauce or even vodka can be infused with the flavor of lavender in this way.
    Photo by Brian Smale, courtesy Florentia Press (c) 2010
  • "Discover Cooking with Lavender" by Kathy Gehrt is an inspiring guide that will help you infuse your kitchen with invigorating fragrances and flavor. Explore the culinary wonders of lavender in this herbal cookbook.
    Photo courtesy Florentia Press (c) 2010
  • Roasting dried lavender buds transforms the taste of lavender from slightly floral to rustic and earthy, making it perfect for savory dishes.
    Photo by Brian Smale, courtesy Florentia Press (c) 2010

Lavender opens the door to intoxicating aromas and exotic flavors in your favorite dishes. Invite the enticing fragrance that enchants you in the garden into the kitchen with Discover Cooking with Lavender (Florentia Press, 2010) by Kathy Gehrt. From garden to table, explore the creative ways to use lavender in your recipes such as lavender infusions, roasts, blends and other baking techniques. Your cooking will never be the same. 

Lavender Recipes

Candied Lavender Wands  
Deep-Dish French Toast with Lavender 
Josephine’s Lavender Hot Chocolate 
Tapenade Recipe with Capers and Lavender 

Lavender’s vivid color and enticing fragrance tantalize us from gardens around the globe. Hardy and evergreen, this plant flowers in summer. Easy to grow, it has only two essential requirements—full sun and well-drained soil. In return, it offers showy buds, intoxicating aroma and exotic flavor. Bees buzz around its blossoms and gather its sweet nectar and white butterflies flutter from flower to flower. As if being beautiful, fragrant and easy-to-grow weren’t enough, lavender also delivers fresh vibrant flavor when used in cooking.

Cooking with Lavender

The pungent flavor of herbs has inspired cooks for centuries. Medieval monks were among the first to embrace herbs, and they turned cooking with them into a culinary art. Apothecary gardens within the monasteries provided herbs for cooking and also for natural medicine. Lavender, once used almost exclusively for healing and cleansing, also became popular in teas, jellies and candies. In France, lavender is a popular culinary herb, but it is less well known in America. However, our consumption of herbs and spices has reached an all-time high, reflecting our enjoyment of varied flavors, appreciation of Asian and Latin American foods, and our interest in experimenting with new herbal fusions.

Use Lavender Judiciously

Lavender offers a zesty flavor, so a little goes a long way. Start with a small amount, then add more until you are satisfied with the taste. Use lavender as an accent. It should enhance the other flavors in the dish, not overpower them. Lavender may be the star in the garden, but in the kitchen, this herb’s job is to bring out the best in others.

How to Cook with Lavender

Flavoring food with lavender is easy. Three techniques and several basic recipes will get you started.



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